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Navigating Amidst Turbulent Times

Cavalier PRC Corporations Suffer Under US Market Scrutiny. By James Zhang. With the successful offshore initial public offerings (IPO) of the Big Four Chinese state-owned commercial banks and other influential colossal organizations, a reckoning comes into existence that the best companies in China don't bother to offer their shares at the mainland's two premature pandemonium bourses. The momentum for Chinese listings in the US over the past few years has been overwhelming. An awful lot of companies went public through reverse mergers, at which a private company goes public by merging with a public shell company. That allows firms to...

Reality Knocks

For Asian high net worth individuals (HNWI) the 2008 financial crisis ended up being more of a hiccup than a full blown crisis. HNW wealth topped US$9.7 trillion, surpassing the pre-crisis level of US$9.5 trillion after bouncing back from a loss of over 20% in2008. Due to a robust regional economy,surging real estate prices, and a rally inthe stock market, Asian HNW's did farbetter than those in North America andEurope, who at the end of 2009, still hadlosses in excess of US$1.0 trillion and US$1.2 trillion, respectively, from 2007 levels, representing a reduction of wealthof roughly 10% for both regions....

Banking Globally

Recent figures indicate that China currently has more than 500,000 high net worth individuals(HNWI's) with a combined wealth of over US$2.5 trillion. Some of the big name Chinese banks and foreign banks have been growing their private banking divisions to cater to this massive growth in new millionaires; aiming to furnish these new millionaires with a more personal service than they would otherwise find in a consumer bank. An institution's private banking division will provide a variety of service such as wealth management, savings, inheritance and tax planning as well as day to day banking for their clients. aPersonal advisors...

International Finance For An International RMB

Last year the Chinese government unveiled a series of measures designed to create conditions for the RMB to become an international currency. The two most important being the RMB Trade Settlement Scheme introduced by The People Bank of China (PBoC), which allows trade transactions from anywhere to be settled in RMB, and the revised Settlement Agreement on the Clearing of Renminbi signed by PBoC and Bank of China Hong Kong (BOCHK) which expands the scope of RMB business in Hong Kong and increases flexibility for financial institutions, to conduct RMB business Furthert to these changes , an expansion of the...

China New Frontier

In 1488, when Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias rounded the Cape of Good Hope, he opened the Indian Ocean to western Europe's merchant ships and, in the process, ushered in a new era in global trade. The period, which reached its zenith when this vast stretch of water was nicknamed - with more than a little hubris - a British lake, saw the rise of free ports like Singapore, which were able to punch way above their weight. Now, with the emergence of China and to a lesser extent India, the Indian Ocean's trade routes are again going through an era...

Open Doors

Second citizenship programs offer flexibility and convenience to Chinese investors overseas Economic citizenship can mean anything from a simple tax break to ensuring your kids can get an education in the country of your choice. For those who can afford it, it can mean financial privacy, freer travel and a greater sense of asset security. But the idea of changing citizenship is understandably seen by many as an exceedingly bold move, especially for citizens of countries like China, where the government does not permit dual citizenship.  In order to partake in second citizenship programs, Chinese citizens have to deal with...

IBC Showdown

BVI, Cayman and Seychelles still dominate China's offshore aspirations; a trend that is likely to continue. Sticking with what you know has become somewhat of a theme when it comes to Chinese investors use of offshore finance centers. While OFCs from Jersey to Samoa have tried to cash in on the China dollar, it remains the fact that the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands remain the destination of choice for Chinese.  Seychelles comes in a close third place and, some might say, is closing the gap on the Caribbean big boys. The island has been aggressively marketing itself...

Love and Money: Using Offshore Structures to Protect Your Assets in the Case of Divorce

By Claire van den Heever. It wasn't terribly lonh ago that marriage in China was for life. For women, it often bore more resemblance to a life sentence: once you entered into a marriage, you relinquished your rights to your husband and his family, and served them as they saw fit. Divorce was shameful for women, and those few who did manage to successfully secede from their husbands were labelled po xie (old shoe). Because of the accompanying stigma, second marriages were neither very likely nor without problems of their own, and were perhaps only as problematic as remaining single...